ABSTRACT. The Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 CE, with a large part of the Jewish population either being killed, sent into exile, or sold into slavery. The Sages of the Talmud and Midrash attempted to answer the question as to why Jerusalem and the Temple were demolished. This paper will examine reasons for this and see what lessons may be learned. One major takeaway is that baseless hatred and corruption can lead to internecine warfare and even the collapse of a superpower.

Keywords: Second Temple; Destruction of Jerusalem; Talmud; Zealots; Sicarii; baseless hatred; corruption; price gouging; Edelman Trust Barometer

How to cite: Friedman, H. H. (2021). “The Collapse of Great Empires: Lessons for Today from the Destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple,” Review of Contemporary Philosophy 20: 53–70. doi:10.22381/RCP2020212

Received 4 May 2020 • Received in revised form 23 June 2020
Accepted 30 June 2020 • Available online 15 July 2020

Hershey H. Friedman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Department of Business Management,
Murray Koppelman School of Business,
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, NY, USA

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